“Would this be the point where the damsel in distress finds rescue from a knight in rather filthy armor?”
With caution, Victoria turned to face a young man of similar age to her and who was now standing behind her motorcar. A somewhat devilish smile adorned his ruggedly handsome face. Roughly a foot taller than her, she was momentarily drawn to the sweat and dirt that lay cast across the sun-bronzed muscles of his bare chest. His short wavy chestnut-brown hair and blue eyes enhanced his handsome features. The devilishness of his smile then faded to one more of shyness as he spoke further.
“My apologies; it was not my intention to startle you. I was working in the field with my father when I noticed the steam from your engine. May I have a look?” he asked as he stepped toward the front of the motorcar.
“Please,” Victoria forced the word from her throat. The young man stepped around her to the front of the motorcar and then opened the engine cover by using a handkerchief to touch the blisteringly hot surface. For a few moments, the steam billowed forth until it dissipated.
She could not stop her eyes from being drawn to his bare muscular frame. The muscles of his arms, chest, and abdomen perfectly glistened from the perspiration of standing next to the overheated engine. Never before within her twenty years had she entertained thoughts of desire in this manner. His words regretfully then drew her away from these thoughts.
“Just as I suspected, the engine is as parched as I am. It will require water for its radiator once the engine has cooled. Either you could wait here in this dreadful heat…or, I could see you home and return your motorcar to you this evening,” he offered with more shyness that she found endearing.
“I imagine that it would be proper for the knight in filthy armor to present his name to the damsel in distress. My name is Victoria Winterhurst,” she offered in introduction.
The young man smiled at her and extended his dirt-covered hand to her. “Trevor Kerrigan,” he offered with his own introduction. He held up his hand for her to patiently remain there for a moment as he hurried out to the field to speak to an older man. Upon his return he offered an apology. “I needed to tell my father that I would see you home. Please, follow me,” he said as he began to walk toward the windmill.
“Do you have a motorcar?” Victoria questioned with curiosity.
“No, Miss Winterhurst. I do believe, however, that you will find this most interesting,” Trevor responded somewhat mysteriously. His devilish smile had returned to his handsome face. As a firefly drawn to a lamp she found herself entranced by his mischievousness.
After following Trevor up the hillside and then further back behind the windmill, Victoria came to an abrupt halt. “You simply must be barking mad. The brutal sun must have damaged your mind,” she uttered with astonishment. “May I ask…what that is?”
“That, Miss Winterhurst, is my flying machine,” Trevor responded through bursting pride.
Victoria took a step closer as her jaw continued to remain dropped.
“I constructed it in the spirit of the flying machine used by those brilliant American chaps, the Wright Brothers. I made some modifications to enhance their design,” Trevor commented as he was preparing his flying machine for flight.
“There simply is no possible way that I will allow you to see me home in that death trap.”
Trevor smiled before walking over to her. “I promise that no harm will come to you. I have flown many times with nary a scratch.” With a cautious manner, Trevor reached over and took a gentle hold of Victoria’s hand. She looked into his eyes and listened as his words entranced her.
“Have you ever held the desire for just a moment to find release from worldly troubles and simply soar through the clouds? The sensation of being awakened from a world that seems half asleep is most profound. Imagine how God and the angels feel as they soar through the heavens while looking upon creation. To become one with the wind is to find a most sublime freedom.” Stepping away from her he continued to hold her hand. For a moment she stood steadfast, yet one step after another would betray her resolve. Willingly, she now allowed herself to be led to what she believed would be her untimely death.